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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33766
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I had a previous landlord file a civil case for $4800 for ridiculous

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I had a previous landlord file a civil case for $4800 for ridiculous charges including replacing a driveway on the home I lived in. I filed a letter with the court and didn't hear back, so I thought it was dismissed. Unfortunately, the court awarded them a default judgment of $10,300. They have been garnishing my wages for over a year now. My payroll department called me last week because they have not received a statement from the landlord since October 2012. I have not received one since May 2013. We do not know what the balance is. I called the attorney listed on their paperwork and he said he has never heard of them. I tried to call the number they listed for themselves and it is not a valid number any longer. How do I resolve this issue? I am in Maryland by the way.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Do you know where the money that is being deducted is going?
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Is it being mailed to the plaintiff somewhere or being deposited directly into their account?
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Do you know where the landlord physically lives?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I only have the address and phone number listed on the paperwork. I am not sure where the money is going, but I was under the impression it was being sent to the attorney that represented them--however, he does not exist. My payroll person is not very helpful; to be fair she doesn't have much experience with this either; she is freaking out right now because she feels that something is "off" as she puts it with this garnishment.

Ok, there are a couple ways to address this. You can try to get the payroll clerk to stop deducting the amounts from your check and then wait to see if the landlord will contact you or the employer when the money stops.
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Or you can file a "motion to clarify" in the court that awarded the judgment against you and have it served on the landlord. This will force him to appear in court and provide the court with an updated balance due on the debt. If you have paid off the debt and actually have an overpayment, then the judge would order the landlord to refund any overpayment.
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If you can't find out where the landlord lives from the original judgment to have them served, you can contact the tax assessor where the rental property is located and see where the property tax bills go. This is likely the landlord's home address so you can have the summons and motion served on them there.
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Me, I would just try to get the payroll clerk to stop sending payments and wait for the landlord to respond...
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you. Can my employer get in trouble for not sending payments without a court order?

The landlord would have to file a motion for contempt of court against the employer for stopping payments. But since the landlord has not given then any type of account balance, I would opine that stopping payments pending an account update would be entirely justified from the company's viewpoint.
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But it is much more likely that the landlord would just contact the payroll dept and ask what is going on. Then they can request an updated account balance from him.
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Thanks.
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